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On Hymn… being sold as the invention of the wheel

On Hymn… being sold as the invention of the wheel

Genc Pollo

In October 2005, after one month in the office of the Minister of Education, I signed an order for schools to sing the National Anthem and hold the flag-raising ceremony before the start of classes. I made this order public at the end of the competition between nearly 200 students from all the country's schools with artistic works in honor of Skenderbeu on the 500th anniversary of his birth. "Our school must be clear in its mission, both for the formation of conscientious Albanians and for the formation of decent and good European citizens. Therefore, let us strictly preserve the singing of the National Anthem and enrich this with other acts, such as the raising of the Albanian flag ". I found these phrases from my speech at the time after a google search on the internet.

The reactions were positive: colleagues from the majority and the opposition congratulated me privately. Ekrem Spahia, then head of the Legality Movement Party, and Deputy Minister of Defense, was the only politician who welcomed the initiative publicly.

In fact, the singing of the National Anthem was a duty clearly defined in the Normative Provisions of Education, but in the previous 8 years of the socialist government, it had been neglected and even forgotten in practice.

During the Berisha government, the Ministers of Education after me, from time to time, through letters and public appeals, reminded local directors, sometimes careless, of the obligation of this ritual.

With the arrival of the Rama government in v. 2013 the singing of the National Anthem and the hoisting of the flag in schools was generally forgotten.

Therefore, it was somewhat surprising the announcement of the Prime Minister, now ten years in office, that on the anniversary of Skanderbeg's death, the anthem was being sung in schools and that the decision was made "that this way the anthem will be sung in every school, at the beginning of every new teaching week ".

There is no need to obsess over the dilemma of whether permanent reinvention of the wheel is megalomania or folly. And let's not even philosophize about the hypocrisy of a prime minister who often mentions his humility.

Let's look at the positive in the hope that the Ministry of Education will see to it that the ceremony is held regularly in schools.

In the meantime, we must remember that Albania is a European country and a candidate for membership in the European Union. However complex our relationship with the EU is, history and geography have fortunately defined us in Europe. Therefore, we would like to discuss whether every Monday, in addition to Aleks Drenova's verses, the students should also sing Schiller's verses with Beethoven's "Ode to Joy", which is now officially the European anthem.

*Former minister and deputy

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